Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pegging Fiat Money to Land (Broad Stroke Reform, Part 1)

How to fix it lessons, part one. Our dollar really isn't worth anything it is said, so how do we make it worth something?
The Federal Government has assets, mostly in land. As alluded to earlier we as a nation could peg the dollar to land. This is good for several reasons.

First of all the Federal Government has too much land, so they could be made to give it up in this fashion, or a good portion of it. There is an arguable interest in mutual public ownership of land, but if we want that, we'd have to have an accompanying reduction in Federal Spending. There will be many arguments against this sort of solution. Perhaps the Feds are only required to sell land to fund deficits. Maybe they should have the right to sell off which portions they want to sell first. Perhaps mineral rights should be retained at a more local level, like the county.

There are a lot of Islands out there, in the South Pacific. Maybe if we freed up a few to be private property, maybe if a hotel could be built near "Hidden Lake" in Glacier Park, we'd be all a bit better off. There might be some need for covenants and zoning requirements. Maybe people could buy into US Citizenship with a certain size land purchase.

It's not a perfect solution, but having the Feds tie the buck to something real, would make our currency unique in the world. Unique and valuable. Next installment? How to deal with the problem of Washington DC itself, and yes, there is a solution.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Go ahead, but if you think you might die laughing, don't read the rest of this post.

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How to Balance the Federal Budget

It's really not hard. Stop spending and find something hard to back the buck. It's not Gold by the way.
"The United States government has direct ownership of almost 650 million acres of land (2.63 million square kilometers) – nearly 30% of its total territory. - Big Think"
The Feds for instance "84.5% of Nevada." What's the whole enchalada worth? All the land in the USA? The Feds for instance only own 69.1% of Alaska, but Alaska is our largest state. So the Fed's holdings in Alaska are greater in terms of acreage than a lot of states combined. 15 years ago it was worth "billions." In the age of typewriters, it was worth almost a billion. If you take a deep breath and realize that the real definition of inflation is not "rising prices" but the printing of money, then you know that a Billion in the '80's is a lot more money now.

But what is the actual value of Federal Lands now? Net Right Daily refers to the type written paper I linked to above when guessing at the value of Federal Oil and Gas rights at "$1.8 trillion, adjusted for inflation." It doesn't seem that anyone has a real account grasp of the total value of the holdings of our Federal Government. So how about a Dirt Standard? We don't have the assets outside of our land to back the dollar, so back it with dirt. We've got the dirt. I've been suggesting we should sell it off for years, though I don't recall if I've mentioned it here. It's a big country, so someone else as thought of this as well:
From "Winona 360" - "It might surprise you to hear that the Federal government owns 35% -- just about 650 million acres -- of the land mass of the United States. Most of this land is intended for all citizens (and future generations) to use and enjoy, and includes all National Parks, National Monuments, National Forests, and National Wildlife Refuges."
About a year ago, the Richmond Times Dispatch took a shot at it:
"Suppose, for instance, that 10 percent of the 650 million acres — 65 million acres — would be offered for sale only to domestic energy companies. Of course, each parcel sold would need to be priced at its respective market value and evaluated so as to weigh its comparative merits for producing energy versus being preserved for environmental or scenic value. For the sake of illustration, if these tracts were sold for an average of $1,500 per acre, the resulting revenue to repay our hemorrhaging national debt would be in the range of $97.5 trillion."
But, they must be using an early "Pentium" chip, because the total value of federal land at $1,500 an acre is more like a trillion. The concept of a trillion can be complicated by the fact that the British for instance, have more zeros in their trillion, than we do. For US consumption, a trillion is a "1" followed by 12 zeros. So 650,000,000 is 650 million. If you multiply it by 1000, that's 650,000,000,000. That's not quite 12 zeros. You add another half a thousand to the mix and it rounds up rather neatly to a trillion. It would seem that in dealing with Carl Sagan sized numbers, we can't quite get our minds around them.

Nevertheless, it's a lot of money. It's two trillion if you get an average of $3,000 an acre. I honestly don't know what the average value is, but doubtless oil and mineral right lands are going to pull a prettier penny than a swamp. The Debt Clock is racing toward a national debt figure if $16,000,000,000,000. So that's an eight of the national debt. If we backed the dollar with Federal Land value, in some creative way, I think it's going to take a chunk out of it. An eighth of the debt in terms of raw annual net worth of the lands the US Government holds is somewhat significant. At some point, the dollar must be rationalized to real value, not to numeric face value, or it's going to end up in the gutter. Stop spending and printing the dollar, and start backing it.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

I Won't Have Ron Paul to Kick Around Anymore

Well Dang. What will I write about? Who will you Paulie-Annas vote for?
Nobody? Consider that to be half a vote for Obama. I comment regularly on the previous Presidential Election in 2008. When all the Ron Paul for President signs came down on the east side of Flathead Lake, you know what replaced them? Obama for President signs.
The Washington Times - "Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said Monday he will not compete in primaries in any of the states that have not yet voted — essentially confirming Mitt Romney will win the Republican presidential nomination.

Mr. Paul said he will continue to work to win delegates in states that have already voted and where the process of delegate-selection is playing out. He said that’s a way to make his voice heard at the Republican nominating convention in Tampa, Fla., in August."
Yes, I voted for him. No I don't want him to be President. I voted for him because he couldn't win and I wanted to register with the Republican Party that I have largely Libertarian leanings. When I voted, absentee, I knew Ron couldn't win. Pauliacs and Paulie-Annas keep claiming that he can and then a large percentage of them say they won't vote if it's not possible to vote for "Dr. Paul." Get over yourselves. Dr. Paul is a professional candidate, not a Presidential Hopeful. It's a very good job.

Pray for the well being of the city (or country) you live in. Pray for the LORD's blessings upon your King (or President). You might also read that as vote in a similar way. Don't tear down the house so quickly. I know some of you want to. Don't.
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

So I voted for Ron Paul in the Primary

Why did I do that?

That would be completely inconsistent, right? Not really, I use my vote to send messages. It's practical, in Montana, to vote in the Republican primary. Montana sends out ballots for the two leading parties in the state, for absentee voting. Montana's primary on on June 5th this year. It is way too likely that I will be traveling on that date so I asked for the absentee ballot. It's how I usually vote and even if I could vote Libertarian by absentee ballot, there aren't enough Libertarian candidates running for office in Montana for me to waste my time in their primary anyway. They're not getting elected in all likelihood and in most cases, the candidates they do forward, run generally unopposed in their own primaries.

So, I vote Republican, steering my party as much to the Libertarian side of the issues as I can. For instance former Congressman Rick Hill (one of our representatives back when we had 2) will probably be the Republican nominee for Governor, but the Tea Party (and me) both like Ken Miller. I voted for Ken. Rick will probably win and in truth he is a close second choice for me, so I won't have any trouble at all pulling the lever for him (or mailing in my paper ballot) in November.

My wife and I vote strategically and we have a lot of fun with our ballot and have our own little caucus right in our living room. It's a blast. We allocate our votes to steer toward freedom or to send a message when and outcome is a forgone conclusion. I voted Libertarian in the last Presidential Election (2008) because it was clear that McCain would win Montana's "winner take all" Presidential election for Electoral College representatives. My vote then became an expression of discontent over the way Republicans selected their candidate for President. I was not at all happy with McCain, but would have eagerly voted for him if the vote was at all close in Montana's 2008 November general election.

So I voted for Ron Paul because Ron is the only candidate that carries the Libertarian banner in the Republican Presidential Primary. Newt has quit. I liked and still liked Newt. Santorum quit. I liked Rick pretty well. I liked Cain better than both. I really wanted a much better candidate than any that were offered this cycle by the Republicans. Ron Paul offered me the opportunity to say to the Republican party that it ought to move more Right/Libertarian. It's not where I want it to be. It's not where most of my readers want it to be. I think I have three or four of you left don't I?

I won't vote for Ron Paul in the General Election because I don't think he'll be on the ballot and my views are well known as to Ron actually ascending to the Presidency. I might vote for the Libertarian if it's clear Mitt is running away with the race. It's way too early to say. I will only say that I have NEVER voted with a winning Presidential candidate. I always vote for losers. That's because when they're losing and they're the best alternative of the two leaders (always a Democrat or a Republican), they need my help. The rest of the time my vote has been cast strategically. I can safely say I've NEVER wasted my vote for President if you understand my criteria.

So Ron got my vote. I voted a whole slate of write in candidates on the ballot where the Republican was running unopposed. In some cases I voted for myself. I think the anonymity of my ballot is safely destroyed. I'm the Pharisee, and that's how I roll. With a Sadducee. That's because my vote has been used as a more benign version of the prophecy of Caiaphas throughout the years.
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

God Willing: Tomorrow!

I've made my list:
God willing, I will begin doing it all, tomorrow. Well, in actual fact I've already gotten started but it's been half hearted. I wrote my book outline. I'm going to try to keep it short. I may be publishing it chapter by chapter ONLINE, but then edititing it after you folks offer criticism. Or not. This I haven't exactly decided on yet.

Also, tomorrow, I will tell you who I voted for in the Montana primary and why. You'll be surprised and probably think I'm a liar, but I'm not. If you don't think I'm a liar, you'll think I'm capricious and inconsistent. I'm not. I'll tell you why. Tomorrow.
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